Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Isle of Skye.

Whenever friends ask me about my favorite part of our four months in Europe, I always think back to the day we took a rare break from the castles and towns and tea shops, instead taking a daylong drive from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye near the northern tip of Scotland. Other than our hotel, we didn't really have a destination--rather, enjoying the passing scenery was our main goal. As we traveled north, the skies progressed from bright and partially cloudy to moody and stormy, resulting in the most beautiful sunset as we finally reached the end of our long drive. We were traveling at the perfect time of year, where the foliage ranged from deep greens to vibrant reds.

It's impossible to tell from the photos (other than the one below where Jordan's scarf is being blown out horizontally), but the winds at Neist Point were literally the strongest I'd ever experienced. The wind was strong enough to blow us off our walking path, and when I jumped straight up in the air, I didn't land where I had started.

We arrived at the tip of Skye just in time for this beautiful sunset. No photo could ever hope to do it justice, but it's emblazoned on my memory as the perfect ending to the perfect day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tea, Castles, and Unicorns in Edinburgh.

We spent a few days in Edinburgh, where we visited a darling little antique shop slash tea house, fittingly named Anteaques. Sipping tea and nibbling on traditional scones is already a delightful way to spend an afternoon in Edinburgh, but surrounded by dainty vintage goods for sale?? Heaven!

And you I know couldn't help but walk away with that 1930s mint green demitasse set pictured a few photos below, which is now lovingly displayed in my overflowing china cabinet...

And then a delightful few hours spent touring Holyrood Palace, residence of the Queen on her official visits to Scotland. I'll never tire of hearing the stories of the lives and loves of those who have occupied the palaces we've visited, especially, in this case, Mary Queen of Scots.

One of the bigger regrets in my quarter century-ish life was FORGETTING MY SEQUIN UNICORN SWEATER on my trip to Scotland. Why? Because this country's official national animal is the unicorn!!!! See the crest adorning the castle wall below? A country after my own heart...

Photography wasn't allowed inside, but I was able to take a few snaps of the chapel ruins, which remain attached to the palace. I especially loved the delicate arcuated arcade wall (or what remains of it). In the castles and churches we've visited on this trip, I haven't seen much of those overlapping arches (it reminded me much more of the Islamic motifs we saw at the Alhambra).

Next stop, the Isle of Skye!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A few days in Ireland.

A visit to Moher, Ireland, where the land is dotted with stone ruins and the air is filled with the sound of waves crashing against the rocky cliffs below...

And then so delighted to discover the bright, pretty doors lining the streets of Dublin...definitely filing away as inspiration for when we have our own door to paint! I'm envisioning a powdery, minty blue?

A visit to a centuries old cemetery in Glendaloch coincided with Dia de los Muertos, or should I say Day o' the Dead...

And then, as for any bibliophile, the Long Room at Trinity College in Dublin was a dream...I was aching to browse through the collection and wander through the shelves, but was prevented by ropes and a security guard... Admittedly, significant time was spent looking for Eva Longoria, who we were told had passed through just moments before, to no avail.

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